Radioactive isotopes are commonly portrayed as providing rock-solid evidence that the earth is billions of years old. Since such isotopes are thought to decay at consistent rates over time, the assumption is that simple measurements can lead to reliable ages. But new discoveries of rate fluctuations continue to challenge the reliability of radioisotope decay rates in general—and thus, the reliability of vast ages seemingly derived from radioisotope dating. In , New Scientist summarized a discovery at Brookhaven National Laboratories that revealed a statistical correlation between the distance to the sun and fluctuations in the decay rate of a radioactive silicon isotope.
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Dating an earth sign aka, a Taurus, a Virgo, or a Capricorn can be challenging, to put it gently. The good news is, you're not alone. There are so many tweets about dating earth signs , that it's clear a ton of people feel the same way. Said tweets are a lot like the zodiac signs in question: Blunt as hell.
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The same was long true of the cosmos. The ancient Greeks Eratosthenes and Aristarchus measured the size of the Earth and Moon, but could not begin to understand how old they were. With space telescopes, we can now even measure the distances to stars thousands of light-years away using parallax, the same geometric technique proposed by Aristarchus, but no new technology can overcome the fundamental mismatch between the human lifespan and the timescales of the Earth, stars, and universe itself. Despite this, we now know the ages of the Earth and the universe to much better than 1 percent, and are beginning to date individual stars. Our ability to measure ages, to place ourselves in time as well as in space, stands as one of the greatest achievements of the last one hundred years.